Disabled woman verbally abused

A DISABLED woman who is recovering from breast surgery for cancer was verbally abused by three women after she challenged them for using a disabled lavatory. Patricia Baker, 68, was queuing for the disabled toilet in Sainsbury s in Huntingdon when there w

A DISABLED woman who is recovering from breast surgery for cancer was verbally abused by three women after she challenged them for using a disabled lavatory.

Patricia Baker, 68, was queuing for the disabled toilet in Sainsbury's in Huntingdon when there was an argument with three women, who were accompanied by two children.

She had challenged them for using the cubicle for the disabled.

Mrs Baker, who had been on her way to Papworth Hospital at the time, said: "The most distressing thing was feeling so vulnerable, sitting in a wheelchair with three people pushing their fingers almost in my eyes and shaking their fists in front of my face.

"Their language was out of the gutter too, despite the fact that they had two little children with them."

She added: "This must have happened to other disabled people. This is a big store with a cafe and there is just one disabled loo. This kind of thing could be prevented completely by having the door opened only by a radar key. "

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Mrs Baker said the lavatory door should be opened by a special radar key, carried by disabled people, which would mean only registered disabled people can use it.

Steve Holt, manager at Sainsbury's in Huntingdon, said he had asked his facilities manager to install a radar lock on the door of the disabled lavatory as soon as possible.

He said: "I really felt for this lady. We called a community police support officer so she could describe what happened."

He added: "Because there are no other facilities in the town, people come in just to use the lavatories and they are constantly being blocked, we have plumbers in almost every other day."

Mr Holt said he had arranged a meeting with town centre manager, Emma Thornton and public lavatories would be on the agenda.

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